When the going gets tough, you’re on your own(not really)!!!

THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS (VIA CRUCIS) THE EVENTS OF GOOD FRIDAY

After having just come back from a church prayer service on last Friday night to pray the stations of the cross or “Via Crucis,” for my lenten preparations, I couldn’t help but think of what Jesus went through and what He must be feeling right now.

People who have forgotten about Jesus and how He ransomed his life for ours,  those who don’t pray, attend prayer services or go to Mass and blatantly say that it’s old fashioned and that it’s not done anymore. Since when did Jesus become old fashioned?  When do we stop giving Jesus the praises He so deserves?

I remember as a child going to church during Lent for “The Stations of the Cross” and the church was full, now  a fraction attend. I remember when everybody I knew was fasting, savouring, being more attentive to another’s needs, move giving of their time etc. and then waiting for the day of celebrating in the joy of Easter Sunday with friends and family. It was the best!!!!!!! Now we don’t wait for anything, we live in a click and go society where everything is almost instant.

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I have sometimes felt that when things get a little hard friends often don’t hang around because they don’t know what to say, feel awkward, it’s too hard or they’re embarrassed about your situation. It’s at these times when we need our friends the most, that they walk away. That’s exactly what happened to Jesus during that week of death at Easter-betrayal, rejection, disapproval and denial.

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Over 2000 years have passed since Jesus walked this earth and we haven’t learnt from past mistakes. It is very apparent that the world is becoming more and more secular? There is a growing indifference to the sacrifices Jesus made for our salvation? Lack of those basic values of worship, prayer, courtesy, respect, savouring, waiting for your turn, allowing others to go before you etc, those basic values that have all come from gospel values and have held us in good stead for a long time, but all of a sudden, they have become old fashioned and not cool.

Let’s just stop and think for a minute. When Jesus challenged the thinking of the Pharisees,  he became an enemy of Caesar.  Caiaphas the high priest couldn’t wait to get rid of Jesus. Life was supposed to continue as it always had with no deviations or challenges, God’s rules and to another way of life was not attractive or feasible to them,  with Jesus crucified, dead and buried, they would just cancel Him out altogether. But isn’t that what we do to Jesus all over again???

      (Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’(Mat. 25: 45)

Treating others with contempt because they’re different, accusing them as guilty before proven innocent, trialling people by media, embarrassing and belittling people on national TV.  Sacking them because they have a point of view that is contrary to the leadership team. People’s private lives are aired on national TV for others’ amusement, people who have to fess up for their private indiscretions to make peace with the public in order to protect the club, place of work etc…. and then, all the bullying and sly remarks that follow, that’s pretty horrid stuff I would think! My point been, that we have become so indifferent to other people’s feelings and needs that we are willing to step over them and treat them disrespectfully at all cost. But isn’t that what happened to Jesus???????????????????????? Make no mistake, what we do unto others we do unto God.

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Jesus was rejected, thrown out of the city, disowned and crucified precisely so that the powers of Caesar would increase while the power of Jesus would decrease.

On the cross, we see how hateful to the world and how thoroughly rejected is the teaching and the person of Christ. Even in the inscriptions on the cross INRI mock Jesus, insinuating that He is the King of the Jews ( and not much of a king at that because He couldn’t even save Himself).

Most of us would like to think that we can trust our political parties and institutions to look after our interest and serve all our needs just fine, as long as we don’t make too many waves or hope for too much, all will work out in the end. Really?????????? What’s changed since Jesus’ mockery, his degrading execution, since his painful death , which He didn’t even have to endure by the way.

Even the good thief crucified beside Jesus took hope from the good that he saw from Jesus and asked in the share in whatever Jesus had to give. “Jesus remember me,” the good thief prayed and that’s exactly what we pray during the Good Friday liturgy. Jesus the”Good Shepherd” that He is having found the one sheep that was lost, put him on his shoulders rejoicing and carried him home.

But all was not lost! Jesus defied Caesar, Caiaphas and all the authorities. Even the centurion converted after having witnessed Jesus’ sincerity.

NEW LIFE THROUGH DEATH, THAT’S GOD’S PROMISE. CAN ANYONE BEAT THAT?

To answer the title question, Jesus is always there for us in the good, bad, hard and stressful times of our lives.  We need do nothing to deserve the love of God and Jesus, just faith.

I leave you with these thoughts and you can take what you wish from them.                +Is Jesus still relevant today?                                                                                        +Should we be more concerned with what we want or with what we ought to do?+Should we plan for our salvation?                                                                                   +Are the things we want a right?

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Prayer / Reflection

 The Greatest Man in History,

Jesus, had no servants,

Yet they called Him, ‘Master’.

He had no degree,

Yet they called Him, ‘Teacher’.

He had no medicines,

Yet they called Him, ‘Healer’.

He had no army,

Yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles,

Yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime,

Yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb,

Yet He lives today.

COME LORD JESUS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TEMPTATION – THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

This post comes from the gospel of Mark 1:12-15  because this is what Jesus went through leading up to Easter- the temptation in the desert. I have called this the ultimate betrayal because that’s what satan does with his empty promises. He betrays you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Temptation comes to all of us and there is a very appealing side or instant gratification to it, otherwise we wouldn’t be tempted. But have you ever stopped to think of the consequences of temptation?

Desires……  we all have them and they come to us often and sometimes instantly. Have you ever heard that soft voice that only you can hear?? It’s often those split second decisions that can make or break us. But are these desires a right when they’re going to break God’s laws and affect you and other people in a negative way??????????? I don’t think so!

You may think, oh well nobody will find out!!! But God knows and eventually the darkness will come into the light!

Desires aren’t all bad. You know the desires are for good when they are in keeping with Jesus’ teachings, when they’re aligned with God’s will, when they bring glory to God.

If you’re not sure, then ask God to show you what is right and wrong in a way that you understand. Keep in mind that if there is unforgiveness, unrepentance and lack of faith, they become blockages to hearing that soft voice from God.

Repentance, forgiveness and prayer can align you with God’s will.

 Jesus went into the desert for 40 days, He was tempted by satan, He was hungry, He was thirsty, He was lonely as He had nothing and the temptation was strong, so strong that Jesus was weakened by it, weakened by the Satan’s attack on Him. But Jesus knew of Satan’s empty promises, He fought the temptation.

Imagine if Jesus had given into temptation???? Jesus’ integrity and credibility would have been compromised. There would have been no death on the cross,  no resurrection and no new life for us for our eternal destination.

Jesus fully human and fully divine lead by example and chose to stand up for the truth. Jesus was comforted by angels after satan left Him.

The sad thing is that satan has many people believing that he doesn’t even exist. If you are one of those, you are deluding yourself. We live in a physical world and a spiritual world where satan is at war with God, there is a spiritual battle going on at all times, day and night. Stay awake and be alert!

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The same goes for us, satan is the master of deception, he’s in the business of ruining souls, destroying families especially the mothers because of their child rearing abilities and attacking the Fathers – the bread winners and caretakers of the family.

The more you give into temptation the stronger the hold Satan has over you. It leads to more temptation and to repeat the negative action.

These negative actions can become a problem or an addiction. How many criminals become repeat offenders? Drug addicts who keep on taking drugs even though they know it will destroy them?  Alcohol abusers who drink and drive? Compulsive liars who keep on lying to cover their tracks and then forget what they have said prior, bullies who keep on offending, adulterers who betray their spouses and families etc., etc., etc., how long is a piece of string???????????????????????

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Life is a challenge! Life is a test! God does not force Himself upon us. His ways are gentle, God is the perfect gentleman. We plan for a new car, a new house, to travel, where to go on the weekend, what movie to watch, etc. Why not have a plan for eternity?

Avoid temptation at all cost, but when you give in to it repent and make amends immediately.

The Öur Father- the prayer that Jesus prayed in the garden at Gethsemane is a prayer that does have everything:-repentance, forgiveness and protection. If you pray the prayers below daily, they will help keep temptation away, because Satan hates prayer and worship to God.

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JUST IN TIME FOR EASTER

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As we enter these last days of Lent, how have you brought honour and glory to Jesus our Lord and God? If the answer is not much, it’s not too late to make some adjustments before we ponder on His sacrifice of the cross for our redemption.

Before Jesus died and rose to new life, there was no heaven. Jesus chose the cross so that we may too enter into His new life in heaven, He went before us to open the gates of heaven. Prior to that, people who had died had visions of heaven awaiting their Saviour in Jesus Christ. Jesus descended into hell and took all his faithfuls with Him. 634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.”484 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”485 Jesus, “the Author of life”, by dying destroyed “him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.”486 Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades”, so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”487( Catechism of the catholic church)

We cannot buy our way into heaven because we sin and resin all the time, but by God’s grace He can lift us up and raise us into his Kingdom through Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our life on the cross.

So, what can you do for these last days of Lent? Here are some suggestions:-Pray, attend church services, give your time to help a friend, fast from food, meat, sweets, chocolate(or any food that you love), using your phone or internet less and spend time with others who need you, visit someone in hospital, donate to the poor, do something special for someone without been asked, in other words open your heart to others, just as Jesus did.

It’s not always about what we can get for ourselves but how we can give back to Jesus for His greatest sacrifice of HIs love. No other God has lived for that, no other God has died for you, no other God has risen to new life, like Jesus has for YOU!

click here for a beautiful song/reflection                 http://www.andiesisle.com/the.way.of.suffering.html

May Jesus and His spirit fall afresh on you with gifts of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, patience, love, joy and peace. God bless you all.

ASH WEDNESDAY 2017 CELEBRITIES

ASH WEDNESDAY 2017,  Mark Wahlberg and his wife sharing their selfies and blessing everyone.

The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the priest applies the ashes to a person’s forehead, he speaks the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19)